This morning as the rain is coming down, our Sukkot prayers are being answered. We do hope, of course, there won’t be rain Saturday night so we can hold the Biggest Little Sukkah event in our sukkah! The local bluegrass band Hick’ry Switch will be playing live music during our annual Sukkot celebration this year. If you have not yet brought a food donation for the Northern Nevada Food Bank, please bring a heaping grocery bag of protein-rich items with you on Saturday night!

An important value of the Sukkot holiday is hachnasat orchim, hospitality, and inviting ushpizin, guests into our sukkah. The Biggest Little Sukkah is open to everyone, so bring your friends, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, and we’ll show them what the joy of Sukkot is all about. There is no admissions fee; just bring some money for food trucks and desserts!

As I have said many times now, Sukkot is the reward for doing the hard work of teshuva, repentance, and beating our chests and fasting on the Day of Atonement. It is also about celebrating the intransience of life: Sukkot shows us that community is more important than material things. When we joyously sit with our friends in a temporary fort, material wealth, how big our house is and how much money is the bank, we remember, matters less than the people and relationships that create community. We both celebrate the abundance of the harvest, and remember that the seemingly intransient parts of life can be the richest in meaning. In this way, Sukkot is the original Thanksgiving.

This month, we will be setting the schedule for Adult Education at Temple Sinai this year. So stay tuned for that! We are also recruiting for our first cohort of the Temple Sinai Leadership Development Institute. Closer relationships and leadership skills will result for participants of the LDI. Participating is not only an investment in our community; it is also an investment in oneself. Sessions will focus on skills-building that are relevant for every area of your life: Communication, conflict resolution, negotiation and compromise, problem-solving, innovation and more. We will be learning these leadership skills with a Jewish lens on archetypes, stories and values from Torah to frame each session. Please click here to learn more and register for the 6-session series!

Wishing everyone a joyous festival and a very good new year.

Moadim l’simcha!
Rabbi Bair